Cerberus continues to graduate the next generation

Published on LEUT Dave Devlin (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus, VIC

Topic(s): Recruit School, Shipp Division

Recruit George Oram, left, and his brother Seaman Electronic Technician Trainee Jack Oram at Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus, Victoria. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Recruit George Oram, left, and his brother Seaman Electronic Technician Trainee Jack Oram at Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.

The Royal Australian Navy Recruit Training School recently farewelled 137 graduates from General Entry 380 Shipp Division, after 11 weeks of initial entry training, at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria.

Recruit School consists of 11 weeks of initial training providing future sailors with the foundation skills they will need to shape their future careers in the Navy.

Shipp Division was named in honour of Leading Seaman Aircrewman Noel Ervin Shipp, who served in Vietnam with the Second Contingent of the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight in September 1968 and died while engaging the enemy under heavy fire.

The graduating class of 101 men and 36 women will now commence their category training either at HMAS Cerberus or at one of the many Defence training facilities throughout Australia.

Commanding Officer of Recruit School, Commander Cindy Jenkins spoke of the many challenges faced by the graduating class as a result of COVID-19.

“The Recruit School has been able to maintain its responsibility in preparing and developing the future force for the Navy,” Commander Jenkins said.

“We have had to adjust how some of the training was delivered, particularly surrounding physical distancing, noting we have over 400 recruits spread across three intake divisions.

“Most importantly, we have been able to deliver each of the required training outcomes, and deliver them safely.

“I am very proud of the staff and the recruits in particular for the way they have adjusted to the changing environment and in getting the job done.”

For one graduate, Seaman Star Avionics Technician George Oram from Adelaide, the occasion was made very special with his older brother, Seaman Star Electronics Technician Jack Oram attending the parade.

Jack graduated from Recruit School in December 2019 and has been undertaking his category training at HMAS Cerberus.

“It’s a very proud moment for me to watch George graduate today and also a very proud moment for our family,” Seaman Jack Oram said.

“The COVID-19 restrictions have prevented families from travelling and attending graduations, so I feel very fortunate that I can attend and support my brother today.”

Seaman Star George Oram said joining the Royal Australian Navy was not about following his brother’s footsteps, but those of their father’s.

“Dad served in the British Army as part of the Intelligence Corps and served with the British Special Forces,” Seaman George Oram said.

“He has always been a big role model to us both, his many stories of service and the friendships he made is what drove me to consider joining.”

“He would be immensely proud today, not just of my graduation, but to have two sons in uniform, serving and representing the country and starting their military careers, similar to what he did many years ago.”

The brothers’ period of serving together will be short-lived for the time being as Seaman George Oram, will conduct his Avionics category training at Wagga while his brother, Seaman Jack Oram, will continue his Electronics training at HMAS Cerberus, before moving to Western Australia to become a Submariner.

Imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery: https://images.defence.gov.au/S20201809.

For further information on careers in the Royal Australian Navy, visit https://www.defencejobs.gov.au.